- The Surface Pro 7 and iPad Pro are two tablet computers that have the processing power of a laptop.
- Both have its advantages, but the Surface runs Windows and provides the finest laptop-like experience.
- A new price cut has made some Surface Pro 7 devices even more affordable.
Since its release, Apple’s iPad Pro tablet has been intruding into laptop territory, thanks to better CPUs, improved apps, handy accessories, and cutting-edge technology. With its 2-in-1 architecture and detachable keyboard, Microsoft’s Surface Pro has long provided a laptop-like experience. The Surface Pro uses the Windows operating system, which is the same as what is seen on standard Windows laptops.
There’s little doubt that the iPad Pro‘s improvements over the Surface Pro 7 make it the superior gadget, but it still falls short as a real laptop replacement. If you want to dump your laptop in favor of a tablet but still require traditional software, the Surface is a better choice. The Surface Pro 7 has recently been reduced in price, and it can now be acquired for as little as $549 on Microsoft’s online store. Even with the extra keyboard cover, it’s still less than the iPad Pro.
Note that Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 8 at the time of writing, resulting in the Pro 7’s price reduction. The Pro 7, which will stay in the range, will also receive a Windows 11 update in the near future, according to Microsoft.
Which is better: the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 or the Apple iPad Pro?
The Surface Pro 7 is your only option if you absolutely must run a laptop operating system. Apple’s iPadOS is a little more restricted, and it may not support all of the typical software you require, especially if it is Windows-specific. It also doesn’t behave like a laptop, despite the fact that iPadOS is becoming better at this.
The Apple iPad Pro, on the other hand, outperforms the Surface Pro 7 if your needs are more adaptable. This year, the iPad Pro received a big update that puts it in almost every way ahead of the Surface Pro 7 (which was released in late 2019). Even the cheapest iPad Pro model has the power to compete with the most costly Surface Pro 7 model. When HDR content is supported, the iPad Pro display is even better.
|Specifications||Surface Pro 7||iPad Pro (M1)|
|Price||From $549||From $799|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|Memory||4GB, 8GB, 16GB||8GB, 16GB|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1005G1 up to Core i7-1065G7 (up to Core i7-1165G7 for Surface Pro 7+)||Apple M1|
|Display||12.3-inch (2736 x 1824); 11″ (1,668 x 2,388, 600 nits)||12.9″ (2,048 x 2,732, 1600 nits)|
|Estimated battery life||10.5 hours||10 hours|
|Ports||USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mmm headphone, Surface Connect, microSDXC||USB 4/Thunderbolt, Apple Smart Connector|
|Cameras||5MP front, 8MP rear||12MP front, 12MP rear wide, 10MP rear ultra-wide|
|Weight||1.7 pounds||1.03 lbs (11-inch), 1.5 lbs (12.9-inch)|
|Speakers||1.6W stereo||Quad speakers|
|Keyboard||Not included||Not included|
|Authentication||Windows Hello face sign-in||Face ID|
Apple keeps things simple by equipping all 2021 iPad Pros with the same strong M1 CPU. This is the same high-performance System-on-Chip (SoC) that Apple uses in its most recent MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. The majority of variants have 8GB of RAM, although the 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB of RAM.
Meanwhile, the performance of the Surface Pro 7 is largely determined by the model you purchase. The Surface Pro 7 starts with a modest Intel Core i3 dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM, which should suffice for most customers’ needs. Power users will want machines with Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPUs and 16GB of RAM, which will let them to run much faster, but they will cost a lot more.
When comparing base models, the iPad Pro’s M1 CPU with 8GB of RAM is almost certain to outperform the outmoded 10th-Gen Intel Core i3. Although the higher-end Surface Pro 7 models can keep up with the iPad Pro, Apple now has a class-leading chip in the M1, and the Surface Pro 7 models simply can’t keep up when pushed, such as with games and graphic-intensive apps.
The Surface Pro 7 does, however, run a full Windows operating system, which gives you more direct file management, the ability to customize your home screen, and the ability to download apps and files from any online browser or other source. There is also software that is exclusively compatible with Windows.
Features and battery life
Although real-world performance will vary depending on what you’re running, the Surface Pro 7 and iPad Pro both promise similar battery life. The features of the two smartphones are what distinguishes them the most. However, this division is due to their operating systems rather than anything else.
Both the Surface Pro 7 and the iPad Pro can be used as standalone tablets, though we believe the iPad Pro is preferable in this regard. They all have active styluses with pressure sensitivity, tilt, and palm rejection on their displays. Both gadgets are ideal for drafting, drawing, and taking notes.
Attachable keyboard coverings, standalone keyboards, and trackpads or mice are all supported by both devices. However, iPadOS only recently added support for mice, and using one feels clumsy. The touch functionality on Windows, on the other hand, is badly conceived. It demonstrates how Apple built the iPad from the ground up as a new touch-based device, whereas Microsoft attempted to incorporate tablet features into a laptop.
In terms of cameras, Apple comes out on top, especially since the 12.9-inch model has a second back camera and even a LiDAR sensor. However, both devices use similar facial recognition unlocking algorithms with their front cameras.
However, the Surface is significantly more expandable. To connect with various peripherals, the Surface Pro 7 has more ports, including USB-A (regular USB), USB-C, a headphone connector, and even a microSD card port. The iPad Pro, on the other hand, only has one USB-C port.
Display and design
Despite the fact that both devices have razor-sharp resolutions, Apple’s display is superior. The Surface Pro 7‘s 12.3-inch screen can’t match the brightness of either iPad Pro model, especially the iPad Pro 12.9’s Mini LED display. The iPad Pro also has improved HDR capability, giving it a better choice for multimedia consumption.
Both devices are solidly built and have superior metal frames. The Surface includes a robust, built-in kickstand that comes in handy while you’re typing or watching a movie – it gives you more of a laptop experience without the need for an add-on. The innovative Magic Keyboard, which also serves as a stand, is available from Apple, but it’s costly.
Apps and the operating system
The differences between iPadOS and Windows 10’s operating systems and app ecosystems are enormous, and we won’t go through them all here, but we’ll give you a quick summary. The Surface Pro 7 runs Windows 10 and is as adaptable as ever. It gives you access to a diverse ecosystem of programs and apps, which you can get from a variety of places, including the Microsoft App Store, the program’s originator, and alternative digital markets. These are usually full-featured versions of the programs.
Even better, the Surface Pro 7 will be upgraded to Windows 11 when it becomes available. This will bring the tablet up to date with the latest Windows laptops, and we can expect software updates for the next few years.
The iPad Pro operating system is more restrictive, limiting what software you can install and from where you can acquire it, as well as information sharing across apps. However, the iPad app ecosystem is extremely large, and most popular apps, such as Microsoft Word, Zoom, and Adobe Photoshop, have iPad versions. If the software you want isn’t available, you’ll probably be able to find a decent substitute.
Last but not least
Because it runs a laptop operating system and is designed like one, the Surface Pro provides the most smooth transition from a regular laptop to a tablet. The Surface Pro 7‘s entry-level model is likewise a fantastic value. If you want to use the same applications and workflow as a laptop, the Surface Pro 7 is the device for you.
If you’re not wedded to Windows, the iPad Pro is the best tablet, especially after a major refresh in 2021 that includes a terrific redesign, a significant internal boost, and a stunning display. While it doesn’t have the same laptop-replacement capabilities as the Surface Pro, it’s still a capable gadget.